WOOLWICH TWP. — One of the area’s biggest Juneteenth Celebrations will be in Woolwich Township on June 18 from noon to 4 p.m. at Kingsway High School, Lot F (172 Garwin Rd).
This free family event will offer enjoyment for everyone with gospel choirs, bands, rappers, a drill team, professional actors, children’s activities, African face painting, vendors, yummy food, historic tours, and much more. People of various ages and backgrounds will gather to celebrate America’s “real” Freedom Day.
Juneteenth is a state and national holiday celebrating the ending of slavery in America. “We believe the best place to celebrate freedom is here in Woolwich Township, because we have an Underground Railroad site,” said Rev. Sherry Lynn Hall, Director of Community Programming, HELP, Inc.
“You do not need to be African-American to appreciate African-American history and culture. We are celebrating, and we want everyone to come celebrate with us.”
Notable performers include the Trumpet Chicks and PACE band, Camden. This teen jazz band has won “Gold” in national awards. Many of its performers are now working professionally with artists such as Esmeralda Spalding and Jill Scott. The PACE band plays many styles: fusion, traditional, and funk jazz, and the electric Trumpet Chicks always have the audience dancing in the aisles.
The Creative Arts High School Choir just received “Gold” in a national choral competition. The choir, which sings seven genres of music including spirituals, madrigals, jazz, and spoken word, has even won international competitions. Millicent Sparks, actress, has won national awards for her portrayals of Harriet Tubman.
Black history is American history, and this Juneteenth Celebration will make it come alive. To highlight this area’s history, the day will begin at noon with tours of Mt. Zion AME church and a Union Soldier presentation. Mt. Zion was on one of the secret routes used by its most notorious operator: Harriet Tubman. At 3 p.m., the audience will be treated to Millicent Smith rendering her riveting Harriet Tubman performance.
No matter how hot it is outside, spectators will stay cool under a huge tent. There will be lots of food, drinks, and snacks to sample and enjoy. Area vendors will showcase their unique products and services.
Local hip hop dancers and musicians will round out the festivities. Youngsters will enjoy water ice, ice cream, hotdogs, activities in the Children’s Tent, and getting their faces painted.
This event is sponsored by HELP, Inc., Woolwich Township, local businesses, and churches. To find out how you can donate, volunteer, file a vending application or more, please visit www.helpinc.org, or email inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Funding has been made possible in part by the Gloucester County Cultural & Heritage Commission of Rowan College of South Jersey, and the New Jersey Historical Commission / Department of State.”